I’m a strong advocate for setting goals, but not just when the new year arrives. Too often we set ourselves things to achieve, but give up too quickly or end up going down the wrong path, and there’s a number of reasons this is likely to be.
Today I’m here to share how to successfully set and achieve goals, steps that can be used by anybody – not just bloggers or business owners. It’s really easy to overlook the importance of a plan of action or have one but not actually make any progress with, but by sticking to these key reminders you’re guaranteed to move forward and set goals that have a purpose.
Get Clear on Your Vision
This is something I’ve realised that many people are missing when they set goals, yet it’s fundamental. Your vision can’t be vague, it has to be really clear and have a purpose behind it. If you can’t explain the reasons why you’re setting yourself a particular goal, then you need to reconsider it. My biggest pet peeve is when I’m on social media and see people wanting X amount of followers. But what does having that amount of followers mean? How do you know that having X amount of followers means they’ll convert into paying clients or customers, or increase the amount of opportunities for you to work with brands? (Do you have data to back it up?) Instead, set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) and consider what’s really important to you. Know the benefits of the goal once achieved – what will it look like, what will it feel like? What will the evidence be that you’ve achieved it? Write a vision statement and put it at the top of your business/action plan where you can be reminded of what it is you’re setting out to achieve. If someone picked up your plan, would they know what exactly it is you want to achieve?
Know the Action Steps
After you’ve developed your vision statement, it’s time to look at the action steps that break down the ultimate dream. Can you define 3 mini-goals that once achieved will mean your overall goal is complete? Do you know what resources, skills and knowledge you need to achieve your goal? Do you know what systems or process you need? It’s really easy to write down a ‘to do’ list, but I can guarantee that at least 50% of your list isn’t a ‘must’ for your goal to be achieved. So ask yourself, “does this have a direct effect on my progress towards my goal”? You’re looking for an action that once complete will make the next step easier or unnecessary. Complete one thing before you move onto the next, find your “one thing” that’s a ‘must do’ rather than a ‘to do’. Further reading: The One Thing – Gary Keller
Hold Yourself Accountable
Being accountable doesn’t just mean that everything is your responsibility or that you can’t put the blame onto anyone else, but rather it means you’ll experience a bigger sense of achievement when you get there. You don’t HAVE to meet your goals in the time frame you originally set, but it’s super important to take the small steps forward rather than stopping altogether or saying “I’ll work on that next month”. The next month then becomes the month after that, and it continues until you’re not any closer. You could always get an accountability partner like a coach or join a mastermind to encourage you to show up to calls and complete tasks, but ultimately they can only push you so far – you need to be doing the basics of the goals yourself.
Start Each Day Right
I’m not just talking about how “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” here, but rather the activities you do before you get stuck into the goal you have to work on each day. Creating your own self-development plan where you spend the first hour of your morning is a great way to set yourself up for a productive and positive day. What do I mean when I say self-development plan? Well I’m referring to finding 6 activities that you do for 10 minutes each every single morning. For example, this can be exercise, repeating affirmations, meditation, reading, writing, listening to podcasts – anything that you enjoy that is also mentally stimulating. Getting into the habit of doing these each and every day will certainly lead to increased concentration and determination which will in turn mean you’ll achieve your goals! Further reading: The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
We can’t stay in our comfort zones forever if we want to achieve big, so it’s really important to embrace fear and leap into something new/exciting. You’re never alone on your journey, there’s people who have been there and done it, people doing the same thing and people who are looking to learn from you too. I’d definitely recommend taking advantage of communities, clubs and groups – I joined a weekly meditation class (as one of my goals is to focus more on my self-care), but I’m really scared of going anywhere new on my own – guess what? It wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I’d imagined it to be and now I’ve got a whole group of like-minded people to connect with. If in your vision statement you consider what the results of you achieving your goal will mean and feel like for you, you’ll be able to conquer your fears much easier. Remember though, there’s no fun or anything to be learnt if we don’t have some stumbling blocks or daunting paths along the way so accept it’s part of your journey to bigger and better things.
Use Coaching Strategies
I’m biased as I used to be a coach, but learning coaching strategies or hiring a coach can be a real game-changer for your ability to set and achieve goals. There are lots of approaches that can help you to break down the road to your dreams. A really simple technique is to identify the problem you have, followed by the ideal outcome you want to achieve, then the blocks in you/others/the situation, then brainstorm ways to move forward. Another favorite of mine is to encourage clients to understand themselves more by asking questions like: are you more about action or reflection? Do you prefer to work practically or be more theoretical? Do you think with your head or heart? Are you happy to be spontaneous or do you need plans? Doing self-evaluations is a great way to figure out why we sometimes struggle with things and why we find other things much easier. If you lack motivation then a great tip is to spend more time doing something that does motivate you before you return to the previous activity – when you see results in one thing or get pleasure, you’ll be more likely to seek that from the next thing. Further reading: The Tao of Coaching – Max Landsberg
- Set goals that have a direct purpose behind them
- Break down the ultimate goal into smaller action steps
- Accountability means a bigger sense of achievement for you
- Get into the habit of an hour of self-development every morning
- Fear means you’re on your way to bigger and better things
- Understand yourself and the blocks to achieving your goals
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